With a fiercely competitive playing environment, merely achieving a professional level of football success can be incredibly difficult. Those that do have the fortitude to make it to the top and stay there are few and far between. Unsurprisingly, some of these remarkable athletes also decided to confidently tackle alternative sports – with similarly impressive results.
Reaching the pinnacle of any sport is the ultimate honour for a professional athlete and the following five footballers achieved this not only in their chosen sport but in other fields too. Let’s discover that they have accomplished outside of football.
Petr Cech (Hockey)
Petr Cech, one of the greatest keepers of our generation, is no longer limiting his talents to football—he has taken off onto the ice as well. After retiring from professional football last season, the 37-year-old returned to Chelsea as a technical and performance advisor. But that wasn’t all! Upholding his childhood love of hockey, Cech opted to join Guildford Phoenix. To show tribute to retired Czech goaltender Dominik Hasek, Cech chose to don the #39 jersey and follow in his idol’s footsteps. If you’re an avid hockey fan, you’ll want to keep tabs on the current NHL odds to win Stanley Cup and find out all the latest news and updates.
Cech’s career is paved with success and records. Having started at Viktoria Plzen, his legacy was firmly established during his time at Chelsea, where he earned the most clean sheets in the Premier League era. His 18 trophies demonstrate the scale of his achievements, including four Premier League titles and a memorable victory in the Champions League.
Gary Lineker (Cricket)
Gary Lineker, a household name in England’s footballing landscape, has had a lasting legacy on the beautiful game. Boasting a third place spot on England’s all-time goalscorers list, Lineker presently hosts Match of The Day. Throughout his celebrated career, Lineker has donned the jerseys of esteemed football teams such Barcelona, Everton, Leicester City, and Tottenham Hotspur. On a lesser-known note, Lineker has exhibited great cricketing talent in his younger years.
During his school years, Gary Lineker contemplated taking a professional cricket career while captaining the Leicestershire Schools cricket team from 11 to 16. He was an especially talented right-handed batsman and medium-paced bowler and even got the chance to represent Sir JP Getty’s XI at Wormsley Cricket Ground along with MCC against The Forty Club at Beckenham.
Although renowned for his cricketing abilities, Gary Lineker instead opted to focus mainly on football. He achieved great success as a result, earning the Golden Boot title at the 1986 World Cup and topping the English first division’s goal scoring charts on three separate occasions.
Clive Allen (American Football)
The career of the English footballer was full of transfers, featuring stops at some of the highest-profile clubs in the beautiful game, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United. Notable spells included his stints with Spurs and QPR.
Having played for Tottenham Hotspur, Gary Lineker achieved an unbelievable feat in the 1987/88 season; he scored an astonishing 50 goals in one season, a record yet to be broken even by the modern-day goal scoring machine, Harry Kane. Such incredible displays warranted him the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards in the same year and even cemented Gary’s spot in the England national team wherein he represented his country on five occasions.
At age 36, after retirement, Clive Allen joined London Monarchs of NFL Europe as a placekicker. He would later move into coaching, garnering one such position as caretaker manager of Spurs from 2007 until 2008. Even now, Clive Allen continues to be involved in the sport.
Theo Walcott (Sprinter)
Possessing remarkable speed and agility, Theo Walcott has been recognized as one of the fastest players to have ever graced the Premier League. Such dynamism has prompted many to wonder what heights the talented footballer might have attained on a professional sprinting track.
Not only did Arsene Wenger note Arsenal forward Theo Walcott’s astounding speed, but he even went so far as to say that he could give Usain Bolt, the Olympic 100-meter champion, a real run for his money.
Walcott boldly professed his ability to close the gap between himself and world record holder Bolt’s 100-meter dash time of 9.58 seconds with his own personal best time of 10.3 seconds.
Roy Keane (Boxing)
Roy Keane’s infamous combative attitude on the football field can be attributed to his dabbling in amateur boxing as a young man in Mayfield, Cork, Ireland. With years honing his skill and learning techniques in an ancient sport, it’s little wonder why the Irishman became an unforgettable leader of men in both boxing and football.
As a young man, Keane showed tremendous aptitude for boxing, with an innate ability to land punishing blows. Unfortunately, due to his stature disadvantage, he was forced to leave the sport and pursue a career in football. His time spent as a boxer had established within him an unwavering drive towards victory.
With an impressive background in football, where he captained an all-time great Manchester United squad to Premier League glory, Roy Keane still held onto his genuine love for boxing. But unfortunately, his managerial roles at Ipswich and Sunderland were not the most successful.